Showing posts with label places & holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label places & holidays. Show all posts

Raging Waters Sydney - Australia Day 2021

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Capture of the kid-friendly area from our spot

First of all, I hope you had a well-spent day off yesterday with families and friends. Here in Australia, we celebrate Australia Day every 26th of January. It's always been a public holiday so I see it more as a day off-work, a day to spend with family, to relax and recharge. Nevertheless, if you are living elsewhere, I still hope that you had a great day yesterday.

It was scorching hot here just like it always has been year after year. I can still remember our very first Australia Day back in 2013 (we migrated in late 2012). 26th of January fell on a Saturday and so the public holiday was moved the next Monday. For a lot of Australians, it was a good long weekend to go out of town or hit the beach.

We didn't have jobs back then, no financial means for an out of town adventure. Nothing of that sort. So I spent the day just like how I spend most of my days: job searching in the public library (because internet at home was really bad) while the kids play at home with dad.

This is the renovated library at Mt Druitt - photo source here

My routine was, I would leave the house after breakfast, submit as much application as I can while at the library then I would go home at around 4pm past. 

That particular day though, the sun was still blazing hot even after 4, the type that burns your eyes and skin 😅. So I stayed for a bit and even bought myself an ice-cold coffee. Lucky there was a cafe inside the library. It was a rather expensive move considering our situation that time hehehe. But that's how hot it was. 

I reached home a little bit before 6 by which time, it had started to cool down. It was a pretty sight as the neighbours (including us) started coming out of their houses, walking barefoot on the ground, enjoying the cool breeze.

This was our old neighbourhood in Hebersham although this picture was taken on a cooler day :) my children were playing with the neighbour in his "buggy ride"

Anyway, yesterday's heat was no different. It was the scorching kind, stifling, windless. The temperature's been high for days actually so you can probably guess how we spent the day. Yes, swimming. But not at the beach. We didn't want to travel far but the nearest beach is about an hour drive away still.

So we went to Raging Waters this time for a change which was only 24 minutes drive. The last time we had been there was more than 4 years ago, back in November 2016 for Nilo's company outing. That time we went, the place was desolated because we had to wait until after church service ended at past 4pm. So the place was about to close plus it was off-peak season too.

Back in Nov 2016 - the girls were still little. I don't remember seeing SpongeBob yesterday hehehe.

Wave pool with actual sand: Only a few people were swimming

Raging Waters used to be known as Wet 'n' Wild Sydney - 2 bands 😆 I think they're my daughters' hehehe

Yesterday, we went with the Soria family. It was a spontaneous plan. When we got there, the place looked very different from what I remember. The surroundings were very bright from the sun and the whole area was packed. Parking wasn't an issue but finding a spot inside to settle in was difficult. There was hardly any sun loungers available but lucky we managed to secure one. Then we squeezed in with some people under one of the big shades close to the kid-friendly pools and slides. 

Darla with the twins, Chloe and Claudine - waiting excitedly to go inside

Later on, we got 2 more sun loungers when some people left. Those plus the portable chairs we have were more than enough for us. There were plenty of unoccupied cabanas behind us but for extra $145? No thank you please hehehe. 😁

Photo source of the cabana and a great review of the place by Luke Marlin can be found here

The place looked more colourful and festive during peak season. After settling in our little spot, we all started exploring the place. Our little ladies are now old enough to explore the area on their own so we didn't see them for most of the day. Meanwhile, Darla and I went to the kiddie pool and tried one of the slides. 

A little while later, everyone went back to our area for lunch. I was getting kind of tired because at one point, I had to carry Darla the whole time we were queueing for the kiddie slides. She was getting sleepy herself but I sometimes think our baby is half-fish-half-human and her love for the water was keeping her energized.

Lunch time!

Food is available for purchase inside but as expected, everything was pricey. Fortunately, they allow you to take reasonable amount of food inside so that's what we did. Chips, sodas, bread, sausages, rice, fried chicken. A lot of variety but not too much. We spent the whole day inside but the food was more than enough because really, you're gonna be spending more time enjoying the park than eating hehehe.

We explored the simulated beach area next with the wave pool and real sand. It's really cool - or should I say hot haha. 😉 Everytime a batch of waves is coming, you can hear the people chanting excitedly. The waves felt real, just like a normal beach wave too. Impressive.

At the fake beach - pics while Darla is splashing around 

Darla still hasn't taken a nap. We went to the Dinosaur Lagoon next. 

Marching on to Dinosaur Lagoon

I think this is my favourite place because it's so relaxing. We did 2 rounds but I didn't realise how relaxing it was until the 2nd round. During the first round, Darla didn't want to ride the tube rings so I had to carry her along. She's basically weightless in the water but still. 

My other daughter Daisy was also with us. She left her group because her sister and friends kept going for the rides. I thought she was scared but she said she was just too impatient to queue hehehe. We should really go back at off-peak season.

First round I was carrying Darla 

Our daughter Daisy floating alongside us

On our second round, I decided to ride the ring and Darla felt more comfortable riding in front of me too while hubby pushed us along. It was divine! Just being washed away by the current without a care in the world... so thankful for hubby's sacrifice but he did get to enjoy the park. He and bro Wendell went on one of the most daredevil slides. He said it was really scary he never tried the other ones.

We had no photos of the ride this time but guess what? My husband took a video of the whole trip I think. Resourceful at its best. Towards the end though, we noticed a sign saying no cameras allowed. 😬 None of the lifeguards around told us off anyway so...

Everyone was trying to make Darla ride the donut. Lucky I figured out a way and we both enjoyed.

Finally! We're done with Dinosaur Lagoon

We went back to wave pool for the last time before Darla finally dozed off. We changed clothes and while she was napping, the group continued to explore the place. 

She didn't sleep long enough. As soon as she woke up and realised we were still at the park, she wanted to swim again. But she had enough swimming for the day so we just went around the park to enjoy the view.

The daredevil rides 😨 My eldest daughter Demi loves them. I don't think I'll ever want to try one.

The wide alley in the middle of the park

Water park for the kids - empty now because the park is almost closing

Darla splashing in the water from the kiddie slides

And that concludes our Australia Day adventure for 2021! Happy Australia Day!

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Sunday Fun Day At The Beach

Monday, January 18, 2021

Beautiful view of Bundeena beach
Darla was very excited she kept chanting "go to the beach" the day before and when she woke up on Sunday morning. After 2 years, she is back at Bundeena beach where she first discovered her love for the water. We travelled with some of our church friends while we met some of them at the beach itself. 

It was a lovely day! The weather was perfect. The sun's heat was just the right balance for the cold water and everyone had a great time splashing especially the kids and toddlers. But the best part of it all was to get in touch again with some of the people whom we haven't seen since COVID lockdown in March 2020.

Darla pretends to sleep hehe. We keep her entertained for the whole trip by playing her favourite songs.

Part of my life resolutions (not just New Year's hehehe) is to be more present for the kids and take them out more often to enjoy nature and the company of good friends. So I really pushed myself to go even though the day before, I suffered from a lingering headache from afternoon onwards, which only got worse by night. The pain extended to the back of my neck after dinner. I thought these were signs of high blood pressure so I retired to bed anxious and sad. As a result of worrying too much, I did not get a good sleep either.

Hopefully, our beautiful little women will remember these moments when they grow up.

It's the time spent with family and friends that is etched in our hearts forever

In the morning I was a mess but thanks to my hubby, he organised everything including the clothes this time. I think I only helped him a little bit with packing up. He even made sure we had breakfast before we go. Finally, at 7:30am we were at Soria family's house where we all left together with Dumaog family.

Bundeena beach is only 1 and half hours drive away from where we live. We got there relatively early but the place is already packed. Luckily, there was a car leaving so we were able to secure a spot easily. 

Darla and the other kids playing and swimming by the shores 

Making sand castles... or rather sand cakes hehehe

We set up a picnic blanket on the grass area across the parking lot then grilled some meat and sausages. The kids, and of course Darla, went down to the sand area and water to play. We also set up tents on the sand area but as the tide rose up, the water made its way to the sides and caught our tents so we packed them up by afternoon.

Happy to be with friends again 💗

The water flows through the side as the tide rises so we had to take down the tents.

After swimming, we spent a great time just sitting, talking, listening to music and enjoying the breeze while the kids played nearby. Then while some of us started to leave, Darla asked to go to the beach again. So we let her swim and enjoy the beach one more time before we headed back home.

While the adults chat, these kids were having their own catch up time 😁

Our little mermaid finds joy at the beach
Darla was asleep on the way back home, tired but very happy. When we finally reached home, she woke up and I asked her, "Go to the beach?" 

She said, "Tama na." ("Enough.") and we all laughed hahaha. The little mermaid finally had enough of another beach experience.

How about you? Did you also have a lovely time this weekend? I sure hope so. 🥰💗

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Blaxland Riverside Park - A Nice Place For Family & Friends

Sunday, December 27, 2020

One of the things we learned from tita Joy and tito Rudy, our family friends in Morwell, was to spend as much time outdoors with the children and if possible with other family friends too. Tita Joy and Tito Rudy shared this advice as they recall their experiences during the prime of their lives. 

It makes sense. Our children becomes more and more independent as they grow older and I dread that age when they will find it better to stay at home with their gadgets than enjoy the nature with us.

Lucky, our friends organised to meet up one Sunday. We were supposed to hit the beach but the weather that day was cloudy and a bit cold so we went to a park instead. We stopped at Soria family's house first and drove by convoy to Blaxland Riverside Park where the Dumaog family were already waiting.

Darla with the adorable twins while waiting for Soria family to get ready 

It was fun! We set up 2 beach tents and the grilling plate where we cooked meat and sausages. While waiting for the food to cook, the children went to the playground which was a bit far but still within eye's reach. My lovely girls took Darla with them so I had a bit of time to myself.

Later on, the Borbe family joined us too. The more the merrier!

The children having fun on the hill

After eating, we went about on our own for a bit and took Darla to the water park. She loves playing in the water so I made sure to bring her swimming suit and change clothes too. Soon after, the others joined and the Dumaog family had to leave so we packed up our tents. We spent the rest of the afternoon looking after the kids while they had fun in the playground.

Darla loves the water

Meanwhile, the girls finally got over their being shy and were catching up among themselves. They used to be always together as little girls but it's been a while since they last mingled. So it was really great to see them warming up again.

Then we had dinner over at the Borbe's house of what was left of the barbecue plus Thai dishes care of sis Lau and bro Peter. Thanks to the lovely couple for such a nice and relaxed dinner.

Darla playing with her friend on the sand which she calls the beach

Finally, at 8 past, we had to leave and call it a day. It's not fun to separate not knowing when we could all catch up again but nevertheless, we had to rest too hehehe.

Indeed, it's a great idea to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends and Blaxland Riverside Park is the perfect place for families with young children.

Darla with her friend enjoying their walk at the park

Thanks be to God for a great Sunday! How did your Sunday go?

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Australia Day 2020

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

How did you celebrate your Australia day?

For us, we got some time off and finally hit the beach again after 4 months.

Palm Beach

I missed going to the beach so much but we have to postpone due to the very hot and air summer this year. In fact, a lot of areas have suffered from bush fires but thankfully, it had rained a bit in the last few weeks.

Saturday morning, we went to our friend's house in Narrabeen first. We had sumptuous lunch cooked by a talented chef who was none other than the host himself. Too bad, I was too hungry and tempted that I forgot to take some pictures of the good food hehehe. It was a great time to catch up and the girls had a great time playing together, too. We just waited for sis M to arrive from work and then we left for the beach.

At their house while waiting for sis M

From their house, we went to Palm Beach by convoy. Palm Beach is one of my favorite beaches in North Coast Sydney. It's a long stretch though and the one we went to last weekend was a little bit rough for the kids. The last time we went (view the story here), we were at the peninsula and the waves were better. Nevertheless we all had fun especially Darla (because she wasn't present yet during our first visit hehehe).

The whole batch went to climb up the lighthouse but the children and a few of us preferred to stay at the beach. With a baby? NOPE hehehe.

The baby was more than okay to just stay at the beach and play with sand

Busy collecting sand :D

Soon after, everyone came back from their walking trip, ate some more food before finally swimming. Darla, as usual, did not show anxieties despite the strong waves pushing on our feet at the shore. She was born a natural ocean (and water in general) lover.

Darla, so ready for swimming

Our friends and family

More pictures of friends and family

We had so much fun. My brother and sister in law along with bro N, stayed over at their house for a sleepover. We, on the other hand, left at 7pm and the drive back was not easy with a fretful and tired Darla! Soon as we got home, we were both knocked out.

As a bonus, because Australia day fell on a Sunday, Monday was declared a public holiday too. We had a lazy morning just relaxing (well, I was studying CPA - not actually fun but...). In the afternoon, we went to Blacktown, Westpoint to buy school shoes for Demi and then went to Nurragingy park after.

As usual, I wanted to just stay in one place.

We set the picnic blanket on the grass beneath the shadows where Darla could watch the birds coming by.

Meanwhile, the girls walked around the park with their uncle and aunt.

The girls with their uncle and aunt

Finally, back to reality today! So glad and thankful for the leisure time with friends and family! Happy Australia Day everyone!
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Darla's First Beach Experience 

Monday, January 28, 2019

It was a long and agonizing trip of trying to stay awake and not get car sick but I was glad we went anyway. When I found out that Bundeena Beach was 1 hour and a half away, I almost backed out because travelling with a baby was never easy. I was gonna tell my husband to go to Cronulla instead, as it was closer, but our friends were going to Bundeena too. I could only hope that she would sleep through the journey although I knew that it was just wishful thinking. Knowing Darla, she doesn't like sleeping under everyday ordinary circumstances. I can tell she would be particularly awake for this new experience.

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A Look Back At Our Summer 2017-2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The days are getting shorter and the temperature is getting colder. It's that time of the year again. Winter is definitely just around the corner. 

Autumn had been a bit low-key this year. Most days it felt like it was just an extension of those cool summer days. Other days it actually felt as if it was still summer. That's how I felt anyway. I often felt warmer than my usual autumn feels but it might be because I was pregnant. 

Summer had been a good one. We were able to take the kids to a number of beach spots this time around. Soon as summer hit from the start of December 2017 up until school holidays ended we tried to go whenever there was chance. This was to compensate for last year's summer vacation. We rarely had the chance to take the kids somewhere because of my busy schedule. By the time I took them to Umina Beach in May, it was already too cold. And of course, we're not so sure if we'll get the chance to travel often again after the baby's arrival so I wanted the kids to have as much fun and happy memories now.

Here's a few of the finest beaches in NSW.
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Hotel Review: Wyndham Ramada Shoal Bay Resort

Monday, April 9, 2018

Photo from Wyndham Hotels website
Before I begin with the actual review of Ramada Shoal Bay Resort, just a not-so-brief intro:

Beginning of April marked the start of my official housewife life being on maternity leave. I spent the first week catching up with the tasks of clearing up the mess that had accumulated in the house - piles of clothes for folding, greasy stove, messy tall boys. It kept me busy which was good and satisfying at the same time because the house is starting to look and feel more cosy now. Just in time for the baby's arrival. 

One morning while I was taking my coffee break, I got a call from Wyndham Hotels offering us a promo at Ramada Shoal Bay. The offer sounded great. $189, 2 nights for One-Bedroom Deluxe Waterview which could accommodate 2 adults and 2 children aged under 12 was cheap enough. But the greatest deal was that we'd get a $100 Coles/Myer card or $100 worth of voucher we could use for consumables in the hotel. So effectively, we will only be paying $89. We just needed to attend a 90-minute presentation at the location while the kids are minded by their staff at a creche. There were no obligations required either. What luck! I've been wanting to take the kids out before the baby comes as an early wedding anniversary celebration for the family.

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How I Spent the Easter Holiday

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

I am so thankful for this long weekend holiday as we have finally found time to catch up with house chores. Indeed, all 4 of us had spent the 1st day of the long weekend busy cleaning up and organising the house - the girls' bedroom in particular. That's right! The girls officially have their own bedroom now. Daddy did all the heavy work so thanks to him. The result? The girls were very happy with this granted freedom. In return, they also have to clean up their own bedroom each weekend dusting, tidying up including folding their clothes. So I'll just chuck their clothes in the bedroom and let the girls handle them from now on. This milestone is a win-win for sure! :) not to mention, I might just hang around in their bedroom on days they're in school. It's all cosy and it makes me think I am a young girl again :)

Happy cheeky girls. Wait til their first errands start haha.

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